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Healthier Cities=Healthier People


California shines, Ohio aches

- in battle for healthiest cities

The Centrum® Healthiest Cities Study, First of Its Kind, Seeks to Inspire Americans to Achieve a Balanced, Healthy Lifestyle

The healthiest city dwellers in America live in San Jose, California and the least healthy in New Orleans, Louisiana, according to a new study released by Sperling’s BestPlaces and Centrum, the maker of America’s #1 multivitamin. The Centrum Healthiest Cities Study is the first-ever comprehensive “health report card” of U.S. cities to be based on key factors of health status, nutrition and exercise, mental health and life balance that can contribute to overall well-being.

According to the Sperling “report card,” in the nationwide battle for healthiest cities, West easily trumps East. California boasts five cities in the top 10 — San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento and the Orange County area — plus San Diego in the #12 spot. Seattle (#4), Salt Lake City (#5) and Denver (#9) also made strong showings in the West. But Ohioans may be dismayed to discover their top three metropolitan areas in the bottom 10 — Cincinnati (#48), Cleveland (#47) and Columbus (#45). In addition, New Yorkers live in the #8 least healthy city in America, while low-ranked Indianapolis (#44) and Detroit (#41) help contribute to the East’s poor bill of health.

Top 10 Cities with Highest Healthiest Cities ScoresTop 10 Cities with Lowest Healthiest Cities Scores
1) San Jose, CA 1) New Orleans, LA
2) Washington, DC 2) San Antonio, TX
3) San Francisco, CA 3) Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN
4) Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA 4) Cleveland-Lorain-Elyria, OH
5) Salt Lake City-Ogden, UT 5) Orlando, FL
6) Oakland, CA 6) Columbus, OH
7) Sacramento, CA 7) Detroit, MI
8) Orange County, CA 8) New York, NY
9) Denver, CO 9) Las Vegas, NV-AZ
10) Austin-San Marcos, TX 10) Indianapolis, IN

Complete list

To create the study, Bert Sperling of Sperling’s BestPlaces culled data on 50 U.S. cities from both public and private sources and tested each city against 50 select measures in five major categories: Physical Activity, Health Status, Nutrition, Lifestyle Pursuits, and Mental Wellness.

More about our methodology

Top-ranked San Jose has the highest Health Status category score and rates high in the other four major categories with the exception of Mental Wellness, in which its score is barely better than average. By contrast, #2 city Washington, D.C. holds the highest Mental Wellness score, along with uniformly high scores across the other categories. The remaining top 10 healthiest cities: San Francisco (#3), Seattle (#4), Salt Lake City (#5), Oakland (#6), Sacramento (#7), Orange County, CA (#8), Denver (#9) and Austin (#10).

Of the bottom 10 cities, New Orleans ranks dead last, due in part to earning the worst scores in Physical Activity and Lifestyle Pursuits. The other lowest ranking cities are San Antonio (#49), Cincinnati (#48), Cleveland (#47), Orlando (#46), Columbus (#45), Detroit (#44), New York (#43), Las Vegas (#42) and Indianapolis (#41).

“These snapshots of healthiness of U.S. metro areas help us better understand each city’s distinct character and dimension,” said Bert Sperling. “From their relative strengths and weaknesses in the five categories, one common theme emerges: nearly all city dwellers could do a better job tending to the physical, mental, social and nutritional aspects of their lives and working toward a more balanced lifestyle




Healthy Cities Feb 19, 2011